Bet. Roku's Wood sees streaming potential in Brazil
Soon, the windows of Brazilian stores will display a new brand of televisions: American Roku, which bets on the market for smart TVs (TVs connected to the internet). The company is launching two television models in the country, which operate with the Roku OS operating system, offering access to streaming platforms such as Netflix, HBO GO and Spotify.
Founded in 2002 in the United States, Roku is known abroad for its set-top-boxes, a type of device that turns ordinary televisions into connected devices. Here in Brazil, the best known devices in this category are the Chromecast, from Google, and Apple TV, from Apple. However, the company preferred to adopt another strategy to attract attention in the country.
Through televisions, we were able to offer our streaming content platform in the best way, explains Anthony Wood, executive president and founder of Roku, in an exclusive interview with state. Our goal is to make our brand known and attract a customer base so that we can add services.
The TVs will be manufactured in partnership with the television maker AOC. The cheapest model, R $ 1.2 thousand, will be a TV with a 32 inch HD resolution. The most expensive is R $ 1.6 thousand and 43 inches, with Full HD resolution. The products will be available from this Wednesday, 22, on the websites of Casas Bahia, Ponto Frio and Extra. In February, televisions arrive at physical stores.
We've spent many years focused on conquering the United States, and now it's time to cross borders, says Wood. We believe that Brazil is a great streaming market, with a lot of internet use and a great potential for content creation. In addition to the USA, the only countries that currently have Roku products are Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom.
According to the company, Roku TVs offer access to thousands of movies and TV shows. To enter the Brazilian market with local content, the company entered into a partnership with the streaming service Globoplay the application is integrated in the TVs, but you need to pay a subscription fee of R $ 21.90 per month to access the full content.
Headquartered in Los Gatos, Calif., Roku is the sixth company of American entrepreneur Anthony Wood. The word roku, in Japanese, means six. In its last quarterly result, released in November last year, the company recorded total net revenue of $ 260.9 million and 32.3 million active accounts on its platform. In the USA, the company also has listed stocks.
The company's system, Roku OS, has integration with the main streaming services
For now, there is still no forecast of when the company's set-top-boxes will arrive in the country. Betting on products like television can also be a marketing strategy. According to the state with market sources, placing a new TV brand in retail draws more attention than selling a small product that connects to television. Another aspect highlighted by the sources is that the set-top-boxes are still part of a consumer niche in Brazil.
Fernando Baialuna, director of GfK, comments that the Brazilian TV market is in a good moment for the arrival of new brands. The sector is experiencing a favorable scenario, with the resumption of consumer confidence. The results of Black Friday and Christmas showed that there is room in this market for growth, he says.
The dispute to be competitive in the sector will not be easy. The television market in Brazil is very concentrated: five brands hold more than 80% of the sector's purchase volume, according to data from the consultancy GfK. In addition, there are doubts as to whether the price of Roku TVs in the country will be competitive, it is already possible to find 4K TVs in Brazil, with superior image quality, for prices in the range of R $ 1.5 thousand.
In Wood's view, Roku televisions have the strength to compete. Traditional TV companies are focused only on image quality. Our focus is on software, which is easy to use and can always receive system updates and new content offers, says the company's executive president.
According to analysts, there is great consumer interest in Smart TVs. In addition to image quality and screen size, TV access to apps like Netflix has been widely considered at the time of purchase, says Bafaluna, from GfK. A study by the consultancy, which analyzed the consumer buying journey, shows that 86% of customers seek a Smart TV when buying a new television. However, it is worth mentioning that, in recent years, it is difficult to find a TV model that is not smart.